Photograph by Niebrugge Images/Alamy Stock Photo
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The Coronado Bridge crosses San Diego Bay in California.

Photograph by Niebrugge Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Everything to Know About San Diego

Here's how to plan the best possible trip to "America's Finest City."

Bursting with life, San Diego has managed to retain its small-town feel while offering a world of experiences. With the ability to reach any corner of the city in 20 minutes or less, you will quickly realize why most San Diego locals are tourists who came on vacation and never left.

When to Go

High season? Low season? With weather this perfect, San Diego is always buzzing with visitors from colder or hotter climes. For cheap plane tickets, travel between March and May or September through November, but don’t let the sun fool you: The breeze is always blowing. Make sure to pack a hoodie for those cool beach bonfire nights.

Celebrate

More than 130,000 fans descend on downtown San Diego each July for Comic-Con. Whether you’re in the mood to dress up as Sailor Moon or just want to kick back and people-watch with a beer in hand, this is the scene for you. In spring and fall, unwind with internationally acclaimed DJs who use San Diego Bay’s gorgeous waterfront as a backdrop for the twice yearly CRSSD music festival.

What to Eat

We have two words for you: Cali. Burrito. Whoever decided to mix authentic Mexican carne asada with french fries, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream is a hero. Venture into Old Town or Barrio Logan for Mexican food that will knock your socks off. Looking for healthier options? Keep an eye out for a fruit-filled açai bowl or try one of San Diego’s growing number of vegan restaurants.

Souvenir to Take Home

With over 200 microbreweries in the city, you can’t go home without a six-pack or two. You can also travel to North Park to build your own succulent garden, or transform the awesome seashell you found on the beach into a home for an air plant.

Sustainable Travel Tip

With no shortage of blue trash bins around the city, it’s easy to recycle every day of your trip. If you want to step it up a notch, join the movement and say sayonara to straws.

Instagram-Worthy View

It would be unforgivable to spoil a picture of the colorful San Diego sunset with a filter. Whether you hike around Sunset Cliffs and dangle your legs over the waves, or find a quiet spot on top of a hill in La Jolla, this breathtaking moment will never grow old. And don’t worry, you won’t be alone. Here even locals stop to watch the sun set over the horizon.

Amanda Halabi is obsessed with San Diego and spends all of her time treating the city like her playground. Follow her @gottabea_halabi and @_adventurebae_.